Paper Prototyping and Evaluation: Proto Personas and Mapping Techniques (2/4)

Michael Bengwayan Jr.
4 min readNov 8, 2020

This blog is the second of four posts of an academic group project. The goal of the project is to iteratively redesign and evaluate a paper prototype for a specific task in Microsoft Teams. In this blog, we will be looking at how our team established a shared understanding of the Microsoft Teams users by making a Proto Persona, an Empathy Map and a Customer Journey Map.

If you haven’t read the previous first post yet, you can do so through this link.

Our team wanted to gain further empathy for our users so we made a Proto Persona of our users. We used it in two mapping techniques, Empathy Map and Customer Journey Map.

NOTE: At this phase, our team is still solving the problem identified in our first Task Analysis and Heuristic Evaluation — redesigning the scheduling feature of Microsoft Teams.

We made a Proto Persona as it will help support user-centered design throughout project by making characteristics of key user segments more salient (Harley 2020). Since we were redesigning the scheduling feature of Microsoft Teams for users in the academic industry, we targeted users who are lecturers, teachers, instructors and the like.

While Proto Personas should be based on user research in order to be accurate and representative of actual users of a product (Harley 2020), our group did not have enough time to conduct enough user research in making our Proto Personas. At most, we were able conduct quick surveys to friends, family members and colleagues who have experience in using Microsoft Teams. We have combined these data with our assumptions of users in the academe.

Our group will be updating this artifact later on as we get more user data.

Proto Persona of Users in the Academe

In our Empathy Mapping, we used the Proto Persona, Andy, as the actor that we would be empathising with. We have noted that since we plan on updating our Proto Persona later on, we also needed to update our Empathy Map.

Our main reason for using Empathy Mapping is for our group to have a shared understanding of our user needs and have an artifact that would aid us in making decisions (Gibbons 2018). To add, it is also beneficial to take advantage of this technique early in the design process (Gibbons 2018).

Empathy Map with Proto Persona Andy

Based on our findings on the Empathy Map, our user Andy is often confused and stuck in scheduling calls for this class.

Next, we conducted a Customer Journey Mapping which has similar benefits as the Empathy Mapping for the team to have a shared vision in designing the solution. We used this UX tool to have a holistic view of how users schedule meetings in Microsoft Teams and then identify moment of frustration and delight throughout the series of interactions (Gibbons 2018). From there, we can derive opportunities of improvements from the pain points.

Customer Journey Map

With our Customer Journey Map, we saw the pain point of scheduling a meeting manually. Microsoft Teams does not have any feature in scheduling meetings. Hence, we saw the opportunity to introduce an accelerator in that area.

Reflections in using a Proto Persona, Empathy Map and Customer Journey Map

A Proto Persona is a helpful UX tool in reminding product teams on who users are and how they might behave. In my experience in the information technology industry, there are developers and even product owners who have never met a single user nor have gained any insights from them. Yet, these developers and product owners are developing solutions for them.

This is the reason why having artifacts such as a Proto Persona, Empathy Map and Customer Journey Map is immensely helpful in educating and reminding about of the user. These artifacts would also be helpful in conducting workshops with product teams.


Harley A. (2020) Persona Make Users Memorable for Product Team Members. Retrieved from on 7 November 2020.

Gibbons S. (2018) Empathy Mapping: The First Step in Design Thinking. Retrieved from on 7 November 2020.

Gibbons S. (2018) Journey Mapping 101. Retrieved from 7 November 2020.

Harley A. (2019) Accelerators Allow Experts to Increase Efficiency. Retrieved from on 7 November 2020.



Michael Bengwayan Jr.

T-shaped designer and life learner, portfolio design enthusiast and nerd.